Dealing with imminent danger

Even where the responsibility for addressing risks to non-employees rests with another authority, HSE may nevertheless need to take action to secure control of an immediate risk. This may occur where there is, or is a risk of, serious and imminent danger and:

  • it is not possible for us to contact the other authority in time; or
  • the legislation enforced by the other authority does not provide adequate powers for that authority to take immediate action

In such cases relevant HSE staff should consider taking enforcement action to control the immediate risk, for example by issuing a Prohibition Notice or using their powers under s.25 HSWA. In such circumstances:

  • a senior officer (normally Band 1 in HSE) should, where possible, be consulted; and
  • agreement should, where possible, be sought from the other authority. Where this is not possible the matter should be referred to that authority as soon as possible afterwards.

Following action to control the immediate risk, relevant HSE staff actions should be limited to checking compliance with any Notice they have issued and to assuring themselves that the other authority has received their advice and acknowledged its responsibility for further action. Relevant HSE staff should also consider whether action is necessary to agree a common approach to any future work of this nature.

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Updated 2017-03-31